For people with asthma, winter can be the most challenging time of the year as the severe cold affects our breathing. Cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can cause nasty flare-ups with a sore throat and runny nose. Cold air irritates the body’s airways, leading to mucus production.
Dr. Arjun Khanna, a senior pulmonologist, says that asthma causes inflammation in the bronchi, which narrows them and makes it difficult for air to reach the lungs. When a person with asthma breathes in cold, dry air, the muscles inside begin to spasm as it tries to open the airways.
This further irritates the respiratory tract lining and causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Direct and constant exposure to cold air can cause the airways of already fragile asthmatics to close. This worsens their symptoms and leads to more frequent asthma attacks.
Exposure to cold air can trigger allergy-related asthma attacks due to the production of histamines in the respiratory tract. Allergic asthma is a respiratory disorder in which the airways we breathe in tighten when we inhale an allergen. Common allergens include pollen, dander, and mold spores.
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